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Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman wins a Senate seat for the Democrats.
Keystone State

Democrats John Fetterman’s and Josh Shapiro’s Path to Victory, in Photos

The passions of Pennsylvania were on full display in the last week of the campaign in the battleground state. Photographer Mark Peterson was there to capture the action.

Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman wins a Senate seat for the Democrats.

Few states were as important in the 2022 midterms as Pennsylvania. We should be used to this by now: Donald Trump won the state by fewer than 50,000 votes in 2016; Joe Biden carried it by 80,000 four years later, in a victory that made the Keystone State one of the big targets of Trump’s legal efforts to overturn the election—an exertion that led to the now infamous bit of political dark comedy that was Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

But if the presidential election in Pennsylvania ended in a Veep episode, it created the conditions for a wider war two years later—and a high-stakes one at that. The state’s governor appoints its secretary of state, giving them extraordinary power over the state’s election: If the Republican nominee for governor, a rabid 2020 election conspiracy theorist, Doug Mastriano, had won, it seemed highly likely that he would work to tip the state’s 19 electoral votes to the party’s 2024 candidate, regardless of how the state voted.

Its Senate seat, held by Republican Pat Toomey for the last decade, was Democrats’ best opportunity for a flip. In that race, the state’s gruff lieutenant governor, Democrat John Fetterman, faced off against TV doctor Mehmet Oz, whose campaign was boosted by a timely endorsement from Trump in the spring. Down the stretch, Fetterman hammered Oz on authenticity: He was a quack doctor with a penchant for pushing diet scams who lived in New Jersey. Oz, meanwhile, stoked fears about the health of his opponent, who had a stroke shortly before the primary.

Later in Pennsylvania, there was an Avengers-like team-up for Democrats: Biden, Fetterman, gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro, and former President Barack Obama linked hands in Philadelphia. Donald Trump showed up to stump for Oz in Wilkes-Barre, where he reportedly was talked out of announcing a presidential run at the last minute. And it’s a good thing he didn’t—for Trump, at least. On Tuesday, his hand-picked nominees were trounced: Fetterman and Shapiro both won their elections.

Democrats attend a Get Out the Vote event for John Fetterman in Harrisburg.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”—the Bible verse John 8:36 was imprinted on far-right Doug Mastriano’s campaign signs in Harrisburg. Mastriano lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Josh Shapiro.
Supporters wear “We the People Are Pissed Off” and “Let’s Go Brandon” T-shirts at a Dr. Oz rally in Ben Salem on November 1.
A Michelle and Barack fanny pack at the Obama-Biden rally on November 5.
An attendee wears an “American Patriots: We Will Protect Our Soil and Defend our Freedom From Enemies Foreign and Domestic” T-shirt at a Mastriano for Governor rally.
Obama takes the stage in Philadelphia.
Trump takes the stage in Wilkes-Barr.
A supporter at a Mastriano rally: Moms for Liberty is a conservative movement that advocates for parental rights in schools, the right to ban school books, and control over school curricula that include “critical race theory” and LGBT rights.
“The big tactic that they’re gonna use—especially in midterms, year after year, election after election; they will try to make you afraid. They will resort to fear. They want to scare the living daylights out of everybody, and most of the time, those fears have a very slender relationship to reality.”—Barack Obama, Philadelphia, November 5.
Former talk show host and Republican Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz speaks on election eve, in front of a farmhouse in Montgomery County, to a crowd wearing MAGA hats and shirts.
Excited girls wait in line to enter the Obama-Biden rally in Philadelphia on November 5.
A double exposure of Trump and a flag on a supporter’s shirt in in Wilkes-Barre
Voters’ issues in Philadelphia helped galvanize turnout.
Canvassing for John Fetterman
“Fully vaccinated by the blood of Jesus,” reads a supporter’s T-shirt at a rally for far-right candidate Doug Mastriano.
Josh Shapiro campaigning for governor with a baby in Philadelphia on November 7.
At the end of a campaign event, a supporter of Dr. Mehmet Oz tells him about her ailments and asks for advice.
A protester at a Josh Shapiro for Governor event screams at Shapiro’s security detail that the candidate is against free speech and that “a red wave is coming.”
John Fetterman, Barack Obama, Josh Shapiro, and President Biden hold hands in front of supporters at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
A Democratic supporter in Philadelphia wears a “Count Every Vote” sweatshirt.